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Family, friends of slain Point Woronzof victims replace blood with love

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: July 8, 2016
  • Published January 31, 2016

On a beautiful, cloudless Sunday afternoon at Anchorage's Point Woronzof, about a dozen volunteers and loved ones visited the beach below to remember the two people found fatally wounded there three days earlier.

Sarah Davies, the artist behind the 100Stone art installation on the beach -- where 19-year-old Selena Annette Mullenax was discovered dead and 20-year-old Foriegnne Aubert-Morissette was found with fatal injuries Thursday morning -- had sent out an invitation to join "a community effort to memorialize the loss of these two lives and honor those who live on."

Several members of Selena's family -- mother Rose and father Emil Mullenax, as well as some of her siblings -- arrived shortly after Sunday's event began. Pausing occasionally to support each other and share a bout of tears, they left a bouquet of flowers on a rock covered with frozen blood where one of the victims was discovered, then began to color rocks with Davies and place them atop the bloodstain as part of an impromptu memorial.

Anchorage police delivered word of Selena's death to the Mullenax family in Ketchikan Thursday evening. According to Rose, family members used frequent-flier miles to visit Anchorage this weekend and are scheduled to see Selena's body on Monday.

Rose Mullenax's Sunday trip to Point Woronzof was her first to the site of her daughter's death.

"I didn't want to come down here, because I didn't want to see the site, but I knew I had to say something," Rose Mullenax said. "She's happy that we came, I think -- she would have loved to know we did this for her."

Emil Mullenax said Sunday that although he and his wife had a total of six children, five of them -- Selena's brothers Elias, Joel, Russell and Thomas, as well her sister Kristin -- were from previous marriages.

"She was the only kid she and I had together," Emil Mullenax said. "It was hard, our baby -- the last you ever expect."

Davies, who created the 100Stone display to raise awareness of mental illness, was visibly affected by last week's deaths as she worked and coordinated efforts with volunteers Sunday afternoon.

"It's a tragedy," Davies said. "Two people have lost their lives; Selena died right here. It's heartbreaking."

Davies said Sunday her first fear upon hearing of the killings was that the installation, featuring statues cast from volunteers that appear as if they're walking into the waters of Cook Inlet, had been chosen as the site of a murder-suicide. After hearing police were investigating the deaths as a double homicide, however, she hoped her artwork would offer solace of some kind to the victims.

"I was terrified that someone had used the project as a platform to amplify their message," Davies said. "So many people believe these (statues) are alive, and -- you know, it brings me so much comfort to know Selena wasn't alone when she passed."

According to family members, Selena is survived by a young daughter, Riley. Emil Mullenax said Riley was with Selena's boyfriend Sunday, as loved ones remember her role in their large family.

"She was always smiling, happy, bubbly, kind of a peacemaker," Rose Mullenax said. "If her brothers were squabbling, sometimes she'd get between them."

Emil said her tact was tempered by an individualistic streak, which she'd exhibited from birth.

"The doctor told us she would be fiercely independent and she always was," Emil Mullenax said.

"She was working on her GED, trying to get a degree, an apartment and start her life," Rose Mullenax said.

As a jet roared overhead on takeoff from nearby Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Davies put both of her gloved hands -- coated in blue paint -- on a statue overlooking the rock where Mullenax died and said, "I think I'm going to paint her like the sky."

"There's just this phrase that keeps going through my head: 'I love you more than the sky,'" Davies said. "I just think wherever the beyond is, it's as beautiful as this sky."

On Sunday afternoon, the Mullenax family hadn't heard much about how Selena died.

"I just think she was with the wrong person and somebody did this to her," Rose Mullenax said.

Anchorage police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said no updates on the case were available Sunday afternoon. Police have asked anyone with information on the killings to contact investigators, either through a direct call to Detective David Cordie at 907-786-8679 or Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP or its website.

A Wells Fargo bank account has been set up to help the Mullenax family cover its travel and funeral expenses. Donations to the Selena Mullenax Memorial Fund can be made at any Wells Fargo branch and mentioning the account, which is set up in Rose Mullenax's name.

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